Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Get Out and Vote — for IPAs

Beer Calendar: Get Out and Vote — for IPAs
Jonathan Shikes
It's election season (duh), and as is often the case, a few Colorado breweries plan to get in on the action with election-related beers, votes and contests. The first to jump into the fray is Kirin-owned New Belgium Brewing, which wants the public to vote for the first Voodoo Ranger IPA rotator of 2021. To help decide, New Belgium has laid out various qualities of the candidates, such as character, personality traits and tasting notes, but the brewery also sent versions of both beers to the media, to try to get some early influence going.

The candidates: 1) Agent 77 IPA was brewed with Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy hops "to create a fruity and floral IPA that’s as charismatic as it is citrusy," the brewery says, while 2) Captain Dynamite IPA is locked, stocked and fully hopped with Mosaic, Simcoe and Cascade hops to provide tropical flavors and aromas.

From my perspective, the "tropical notes" in Captain Dynamite were extremely muted, which is often the case with New Belgium's subtly flavored beers. Agent 77, on the other hand, tasted more like an IPA (West Coast style) with the hop characteristics fully born out. So there you go.

Voodoo Ranger has become a major hit for New Belgium, and three of its variants, Voodoo Ranger IPA, Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA and Voodoo Ranger Liquid Paradise IPA, are among the top-thirty-selling craft brands in the country (along with Fat Tire Amber Ale and Rampant Imperial IPA). Want to participate in Vote Voodoo: The Thirsty Games? Go to by the end of September. The winner will be announced October 1.

Keep reading to see craft-beer events and tappings through early October.

click to enlarge DENVER BEER CO.
Denver Beer Co.
Wednesday, September 23
Denver Beer Co. teams up with Mermaids Bakery for a beer-and-cupcake pairing that will take place on the brewery's extended patio with social distancing. Pairings include a coconut cupcake filled with buttery caramel, chocolate and buttercream with Pretzel Assassin Amber, and a chocolate cupcake filled with chocolate buttercream paired with Churro Stout.

Cerebral Brewing releases Haptic Feedback IPA. Double-dry-hopped with Citra, Mosaic, Citra Lupmax, Mosaic Lupmax and Strata hops, this 7.1 percent ABV beer is hopped to the max.

A few breweries waited until the first day of fall to release their pumpkin beers. Strange Craft Beer Company was one of them, tapping its robust, much-loved Pumpkin Porter earlier this week.

click to enlarge FALLING ROCK TAPHOUSE
Falling Rock Taphouse
Thursday, September 24
Every fall, when the Great American Beer Festival comes to town, Falling Rock Tap House serves as the unofficial meeting place and headquarters for beer lovers from all parts of the globe. But in 2020, the pandemic forced the cancellation of the festival (though there is an online version) and severe seating and operating restrictions for Falling Rock. So the beer bar is looking to pull off an alternative that it says will give people a little taste of the GABF atmosphere, but "done in as responsible of a manner as possible, and following all local guidelines." Introducing FRAFOGB (Falling Rock Alternative Festival of Great Beer), which will have four sessions (just like GABF) from September 24 through 27. The seated series of events will be spread out throughout Falling Rock's upstairs, downstairs and patio, and will include two different lineups of thirty two-ounce beers, poured in six flights of five each. There will also be food (see Falling Rock's website for details). "We will be pulling out all the stops in our cellar as well as bringing in some tasty treats in order to fill up the two lineups with exceptional beers. Help us continue the tradition of Falling Rock during GABF Week in this challenging year in a new way," Falling Rock says. Tickets are $100 per person, and tables will seat a specific number of people. Reservations are required — as are masks while going to and from your table.

click to enlarge CALL TO ARMS BREWING
Call to Arms Brewing
Friday, September 25
Call to Arms Brewing will inundate you with the freshness today as the brewery taps three different fresh hop beers, including More Like Bor-O-Phyll and Fresh Hop Janet Reno's Dance Party, both brewed with Strata.

Copper Kettle Brewing
brings back Snowed In Coconut, a "velvety smooth oatmeal stout that is aged in bourbon barrels and made with fresh coconut flakes and chocolate," the brewery says. This seasonal beer will be available starting at noon on tap and in 19.2-ounce cans.

Falling Rock Tap House continues its Falling Rock Alternative Festival of Great Beer in lieu of the Great American Beer Festival this year. See Thursday for details.

If this had been a normal year, the Great American Beer Festival would have been in town, along with the twelfth annual Denver Rare Beer Tasting. But this is not a normal year, so the organizers of Denver Rare Beer have decided to throw a virtual series of events featuring eight hours of content spread across three days, including an auction, panels on beer topics, meet-and-greets with luminaries of the craft-beer world, videos from breweries around the country, and virtual bottle shares. In addition, for the cost of a $60 ticket, participants can get a commemorative tasting glass and T-shirt shipped, VIP status for next year’s in-person Denver Rare Beer Tasting (scheduled for October 8, 2021), and access to special releases (the cost of which is separate) at breweries around the country — all of which will benefit the Pints for Prostates campaign, which raises money for prostate cancer awareness. Participating Colorado breweries include WeldWerks, Westbound & Down, Burns Family Artisan Ales, Westfax Brewing, Great Divide, Joyride, River North Brewery and Verboten Brewing.

Spice Trade Brewing brings back its Tamarind Belgian Dubbel. Brewed with tamarind and pouring with a deep amber color, "it drinks with notes of bananas, tart raisins, tobacco, and bubble gum, finishing medium dry with a light malt finish," the brewery says.

4 Noses Brewing debuts a brand-new hazy IPA called Lotus Rising. "This is our first time experimenting with the new Lotus hops," the brewery says. Combined with some Nelson hops, the New England-style IPA "packs a citrus aroma, notes of tropical fruit, and a fluffy mouthfeel."

Luki Brewing in Arvada taps Boardwalk Cream Nitro. "This light cream ale has a touch of lactose and vanilla that will remind you of nights at the carnival and boardwalk, funnel cakes and all," the brewery says. "Nitro adds a creamy texture that makes this 6.4 percent ABV beer reminiscent of a Nilla Wafer."

Over Yonder Brewing in Golden re-releases a fan favorite, Cream and Sugar, Please. This blonde coffee stout was brewed with cocoa nibs, lactose and cold brew from Launch, the brewery's neighbor. "This light coffee beer has all the flavor and aroma without the dark bitterness," Over Yonder says.

Wild Provisions Beer Project in Boulder releases the next in its line of Czech-style lagers. Half Dark Czech-Style Lager was fermented for two weeks in open-top vessels and an additional six weeks in horizontal lagering tanks, naturally carbonating along the way. It was triple-decocted with soft water, floor-malted Bohemian malts, and Saaz hops from the Czech Republic, Wild Provisions says. It will be on tap and in cans to go.

click to enlarge Burns Family Artisan Ales hosts a special release. - BURNS FAMILY ARTISAN ALES
Burns Family Artisan Ales hosts a special release.
Burns Family Artisan Ales
Saturday, September 26
Seedstock Brewing brings a taste of Munich to Colfax Avenue with an Oktoberfest-style event featuring the tappings of Special Hell, a Helles lager. "Its rich malty aroma is balanced by a slight cracker sweetness that, rather than filling you up, leaves you wanting more. After tasting a Special Hell for the first time at Germany's Andechs Monastery 10 years ago, Seedstock knew they needed to bring this deliciously subtly flavored beer to Denver," the brewery says. There will also be polka music. Come dressed in your lederhosen and dirndl.

Falling Rock Tap House continues its Falling Rock Alternative Festival of Great Beer in lieu of the Great American Beer Festival this year. See Thursday for details.

River North Brewery releases its newest version of Hop-A-Tronic Lupulositor — ostensibly in honor of the Denver Rare Beer Festival, which takes place online this year instead of in person. Featuring Sabro and Sultana hops, this hazy double IPA is available on tap and in six-packs to go at both taprooms starting at 1 p.m.

Burns Family Artisan Ales releases Ratman 20K in honor of Don "Ratman" Rossiter, a Denver beer drinker extraordinaire, who has "sat in a plethora of taprooms and opened up a multitude of bottles and cans," Burns says. "He has eyeballed, swirled, sniffed, sipped, categorized and swallowed great amounts of beer. He has written in more notebooks than he can count, in infinitesimally small hieroglyphic script his findings on nearly 20,000 beers. He has translated that script into concise, fair ratings on, and become a sought-after critic in the world of beer. We are so proud to release a beer worthy of his 20,000th rating." The 14.5 percent ABV Blended Barrel Aged Old Ale was brewed with input from Ratman himself.

Sunday, September 27
Falling Rock Tap House continues its Falling Rock Alternative Festival of Great Beer in lieu of the Great American Beer Festival this year. See Thursday for details.

Wednesday, September 30
Upslope Brewing in Boulder hosts an Oktoberfest shindig at its Flatiron Park tap room. There will be limited-edition Upslope steins, a stein-hoisting competition and lots of beer, including Upslope's Oktoberfest lager and Vienna lager. Wear your lederhosen and dirndls to get into the spirt.

click to enlarge MOCKERY BREWING
Mockery Brewing
Thursday, October 1
Mockery Brewing debuts its second-ever canned beer, Tropical Demise, a blonde ale made with Mandarin and Passionfruit. The beer will also be available on tap.

click to enlarge 4 NOSES BREWING
4 Noses Brewing
Friday, October 2
"Put on your lederhosen or your dirndl and get ready for a spread-out Oktobefest celebration throughout the weekend to give more folks an opportunity to celebrate with our limited seating to operate safely," says 4 Noses Brewing, which will have its Oktoberfest and foeder-aged Oktoberfest beers on tap and in cans to go. There will be Oktoberfest decorations, music and food, along with lagers by the liter.

In honor of the monthly First Friday on Tennyson Street, Empourium Brewing taps Now and Forever Fresh Hop IPA. Brewed with one hundred pounds of freshly-harvested Chinook hops flown in from Hop Heads Farms in Michigan, this 6.2 percent ABV beer "has a tasty combination of fruit and floral notes," the brewery says. There will also be a keep-the-glass promotion, and food from Little Red's Kitchen.

Aurora's Ursula Brewery hosts the annual release of Colorado Buckeye, its 10 percent ABV peanut butter and chocolate stout; it will be available on draft and in four-pack cans to go. This year, the brewery will also have a barrel-aged version and a coffee barrel-aged version.

Saturday, October 3
Join Hops & Pie as the beer-and-pizza joint safely celebrates its tenth anniversary with a crazy tap list, live music, and giveaways every hour from noon to 5 p.m. Beers on tap include: Single Barrel Laws Coconut Medianoche from Weldwerks; Mornin' Delight from Toppling Goliath; Persica from Crooked Stave; East Bank, Bourbon East Bank & A special 10th anniversary Blend from Casey Brewing & Blending; 3653 Days of Delicious Monotony from Call To Arms; Hops & Pie 10th Anniversary Double IPA from Comrade Brewing; Another Hops & Pie 10th Anniversary IPA from Cannonball Creek; Oktoberfest from Bierstad Lagerhaus; Sip of Sunshine from Lawson's Finest in Maine; and "many more secret treasures," the restaurant says.

O'zapft is!
translates from German as "It is tapped!," and serves as the traditional cry to start the annual Oktoberfest celebration in Bavaria. The saying is also the name of Strange Craft Beer Company's new festbier lager. To celebrate the beer and the occasion, Strange hosts a socially distanced, sit-down Oktoberfest event starting at 4 p.m. Reservations and tickets for tables of four or six people are available online; each attendee gets a commemorative liter Maß filled with O'zapft Is ( the tapping is live) and a plate of authentic German food. 
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes